More than words: When and how you communicate to students really matters

When and How You Communicate with Students Matters

Everyone knows that communication isn't just about choosing the right words. Tone, timing and nonverbal cues all matter at least as much as verbal eloquence. As poet William Carlos Williams famously wrote, "It is not what you say that matters but the manner in which you say it; there lies the secret of the ages."

Somehow, institutions—including institutions of higher learning—often forget what human beings intuitively know, and so too often they send messages without sufficient regard for the medium or the approach. But that raises a question: What, then, is the best way to get through to students?

There's no single answer, but the research that Royall & Company does through real-world testing of communication approaches and large-scale student surveys gives us some clues. Keeping with the theme that medium and approach matter, we put together a quick infographic summarizing our findings into how students like to hear from colleges.

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And yes, the title of our infographic name-checks another cultural commentator, the late 1980s hair metal band Extreme, whose hit song More Than Words attuned a generation of teenagers to the importance of nonverbal communication.

Download the infographic

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Browse a few of our other resources for more insight on communicating with prospective students and subscribe to EAB's Enrollment Blogs for the latest updates from our experts.

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